Aerial seeding of the Frye Fire began yesterday as part of the implementation of the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER). Approximately 180 acres were accomplished before the flying operation was shut down due to unfavorable weather conditions. The operation began again today and will continue until the project is completed. The airplane being used for this project is an AT-802 Air Tractor capable of carrying approximately 6,000 pounds of seeding material to be broadcast over the fire area. Since the majority of the area being seeded on the fire exceeds 8,000 feet, the load has been reduced to improve the performance of the aircraft at the higher altitudes.
Road stabilization work is continuing along the Swift Trail (Highway 366) and other roads associated with access to Mt. Graham. Wednesday crews for the Arizona Department of Transportation completed repair of the Grant Creek crossing. This work included replacing a section of culvert that had been washed away by the heavy debris flow which occurred in Grant Creek on July 23, 2017. Forest Service personnel have been using a road grader and backhoe to improve road drainage on secondary roads along Swift Trail and the extension of the Swift Trail from the Columbine Work Center to Riggs Flat Lake.
Many of the roads on top of Mount Graham received damage during recent monsoon storms. Several roads such as Forest System Road 508 were heavily damaged and will require the placement of new culverts before the roads can be opened again. A contract will be awarded this week which will provide road base material to be delivered to various road locations to aid in road repairs. In addition to road repair this material will be used for the creation of “rolling dips” which will divert water across the roadway and reduce the need for culverts at some locations.
The weather forecast for the next week is predicting addition monsoon moisture over the Frye Fire. Visitors to the Safford Ranger District are reminded that many of the storms over the last three weeks have resulted in significant flash flooding in drainages leading from the fire area. Be aware of the weather that is happening around you as well as in your immediate location.
Closures: The majority of the Frye Fire area remains closed to public. Detailed information regarding this closure may be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd552786.pdf
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